It is Mother's day tomorrow. The day when in LDS wards in the US all Mom's get a flower, usually potted petunias or geraniums. I am not sure if they really want them, but that is what is easy to organize for them. One year my well-meaning bishop in Indiana gave out booklets on motherhood - that didn't go over well. Needless to say the next year we gave out flowers.
This year I will be flying to DC to visit my Mom next week to go to a stats training seminar together. My mom is working for NSF this year as an Einstein Fellow. When my parents got divorced, my mom went back to school. She had started her associates in math at Ricks College, and we moved to Boise so she could finish her bachelors at Boise State. Why math? Glutton for punishment, that and if you want a teaching job, math is the place to be.
I was 12 when we moved and we lived on campus in a 3-bedroom apartment. Mom studied, tutored, graded papers, and studied some more. There were a lot of nights that she was studying when I went to bed near midnight and when I woke to deliver papers before 5AM she was still at the table working. I don't know anyone that worked harder than she did.
When she graduated, she worked at a bank for a while and then started teaching at Mt. Cove Alternative school - (Glutton for punishment). When I was in highschool some of the kids at her school would tell me she was tough as nails (not their words exactly). She worked there until last year when she took a year off to work in DC with NSF.
Often people will tell me that we look alike. I take pride in that. Because I do want to be like my mom. She has inspired me my whole life.
My brother in law found this awesome biologists tribute to his mom on youtube. Here's to you Mom, to paraphrase the song, More than half of who I am is due to you.
(Check out his other songs about St. Patricks day and NPR.)